January 29, 2019 - 3:20 PM EST
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State Department issues Venezuela travel advisory

Jan. 29 (UPI) --

The State Department issued a warning advising against travel to Venezuela on Tuesday, a day after the U.S. announced sanctions against the country's state-owned oil company.

The advisory warns Americans not to travel to Venezuela, citing, crime, civil unrest, and arbitrary the arrest and detention of U.S. citizens. It is a Level 4 advisory, the highest of four levels of precaution.

On Monday, the U.S. Treasury announced new sanctions on Venezuela's state-owned oil company as a rebuke against the legitimacy of President Nicolas Maduro, amid rising violence in the country.

Last week, President Donald Trump said the United States no longer recognizes Maduro as Venezuela's president and instead recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president.

Last Thursday, State Department ordered the departure of non-emergency embassy employees and their family members from Venezuela due to ongoing political instability.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela, the travel advisory states. Violent crime, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, is common. Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice. Demonstrations typically elicit a strong police and security force response that includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and rubber bullets against participants and occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a notice to avoid nonessential travel to Venezuela seven months ago, due to inadequate healthcare and the breakdown of medical infrastructure.

Source: United Press International (January 29, 2019 - 3:20 PM EST)

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